Although Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden is not proposing any pay increases for county employees this coming fiscal year, he has agreed to a lucrative pension change for the 37 Fire Department chiefs whose association was the first organized employee group to endorse him during last year's election campaign.
According to Battalion Chief Carroll W. Huffines, 49, president of the Baltimore County Fire Department Fire Officer's Association, Hayden has agreed to allow fire chiefs to retire after 20 years of service, regardless of age, with a full 50 percent pension -- the same plan accorded Police Department supervisors.
Currently, fire chiefs and above may retire after 20 years with a 40 percent pension, but they also must be at least 50 years old. If they wait until age 55 with 25 years of service, they can retire with a 50 percent pension.
Huffines said the agreement merely "corrects inequities of the past" by putting all public safety supervisors -- fire and police -- on equal footing.